Canadian Woodworking

Folding chair

Author: Michel Theriault
Illustration: Len Churchill
Published: June July 2003

Take your own chair with you when attending outdoor events. This fold-up chair is easy to carry and comfortable to sit on.


Cut Out The Pieces

Lightly round over all the corners and edges with a piece of #180 sandpaper folded and held in your hand. Round one end of each chair support with a sanding block or drum sander mounted in your drill.

Seat Slats

Drill countersunk pilot holes centered and ⅜” in from the ends on six of the pine cross pieces. These cross pieces will be used as seat slats. The countersink is ⅜” diameter and the pilot hole is ⅛”. This is usually done a the same time with a countersink attachment on a drill: position the seat slats on two chair supports so the ends are flush and the spacing is even (fig. 1), then drill ⅛” pilot holes ½” deep into the chair supports through the pilot holes you previously drilled.

Apply glue to the mating surfaces and screw the seat slats onto the supports with 1 ¼” long screws. Check to make sure the assembly is square and allow it to dry.

Seat back

For the seat back (fig. 2), drill the pilot holes, in the five remaining pine cross pieces, 1 ⅛” in from the ends. To glue and screw the cross pieces in place for the back, first lay the seat down with its slats facing up. Now place the next two chair supports between the seat’s supports. Lay the cross slats for the back on top (fig. 2), drill ⅛” pilot holes ½” deep into the supports, apply glue and screw in place with 1 ¼” screws.

Do the same thing for the two maple cross pieces, making sure they are the same distance from the top on both sides (fig. 2).


To prevent the seat and back from binding together when you open them up, place a business card between the chair supports on each side, at both ends, and in the middle, to ensure there is clearance between the seat and back supports.


• Round off the ends of the chair supports with a jigsaw

• Counter-bore the pilot holes and plug them if you prefer.


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  2. Hi, Thanks so much for the chair idea. I made one tonight. although just a bit different I used wood I had laying around. The seat is one board. And I only had enough back pieces for 3 slats but overall its great. really comfortable too. It folds easily and quickly for transport.

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